Rotherham Council has had two bids accepted from the government-approved Levelling Up Fund to help improve the local area.

News of the accepted bids broke in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s budget where he outlined plans for the country’s economy as it recovers from the impacts of Covid-19.

Rotherham Council Leader, Councillor Chris Read, said: “We very much welcome the news in the budget that two of the three Levelling Up Fund bids from Rotherham Council are to be supported by the government, supporting our agenda to build a better borough. 

“This will provide much-needed funding for developments in and around the town centre, at Rother Valley Country Park, a new Skills Village at Gullivers Valley Theme Park, Maltby Academy and Wentworth Woodhouse. “

The Levelling Up Fund aims to invest in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK. The £4.8 billion fund will support town centres and high street regeneration as well as local transport improvements across the country in order to reduce inequalities in regions.

Councillor Read added: “We continue to wait for formal government advice in relation to these bids, and also our third bid which would have supported improvements in Dinnington and Wath, but which was not included in the Chancellor’s announcement.”

Rotherham Council’s £19,990,000 bid for their Leisure, Economy and Skills initiative will aim to build a new leisure industry with economic recovery and health and wellbeing at the heart of the project.

This would include funds for stables at Wentworth Woodhouse, a new café at Thrybergh Country Park, new exhibitions at Magna science adventure centre and a new village centre at Rother Valley Country Park.

This funding would also see the creation of a new Skills Village at Gullivers Resort with a focus on training and development in the leisure and hospitality sector. Maltby Academy Trust have also received a portion of the funds and will use it to redevelop the former Maltby Grammar School into a space for new start-ups to get the support they need as well as training and apprenticeships.

Another bid, of £19,549,059, for Rotherham Town Centre, will focus on two key areas, the Riverside Residential Quarter and the Leisure and Culture Quarter. This money will contribute to The Future High Streets Fund and Towns Fund to further aid the town’s development. 

The Council does have the opportunity to receive further funding as the scheme allows local authorities to re-submit bids that were initially turned down, such as Dinnington and Wath.